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CEG8607 : The Environment Business

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor David Manning
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To develop an understanding of the framework within which a science and knowledge-based business identifies and responds to opportunity, within the context of the environment sector.
To appreciate opportunities that arise from environmental regulation and related factors.
To develop techniques needed to investigate environmental markets
To develop understanding of the process of business development within a small environment-focussed business unit.

Summary of the module:-

Skills audit: what skills do you bring to the sector, individually and collectively?
The nature of the environment market:
Regulatory drivers
Market needs and pull
Differentiation of knowledge products and tangible products
Characteristics (financial, contractual, logistical) of existing business activity
Market entry: obstacles and opportunities
Business planning within the environment sector:
Winning work and orders
Project management
Quality management
Corporate responsibility and company structure:
Responsibilities of Directors
Partnerships vs limited companies
Opportunity: assessment and development of opportunities identified by students during the course.

Outline Of Syllabus

Part 1: Introduction to the environment business. Players, motivations, drivers.
Part 2: Group capability presentations; market research and company role model search
Part 3: Group market research presentations; theoretical characteristics of consultancy businesses
Part 4: Financial modelling of a small business; group business plan preparation
Part 5: Group business plan presentations and submission of group assessment.

In addition, students are set and where necessary provided with specific reading to do in their own time in preparation for the written essay assessment.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Group business plan - written exercise
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion121:0021:00Individual essay
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion16:306:30Group business plan - presentation and preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture151:0015:00Present in Person
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study115:3015:30Includes background reading and reading of lecture notes for a full understanding of the material.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study127:0027:00Independent study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The block format emphasises interaction between students from differing backgrounds, giving them the opportunity to reflect on the skills and capabilities that they bring to business. Through market research they are able to discover that this variety is a characteristic of a successful consultancy, and they identify companies that can act as role models for the virtual companies ‘created’ during this module. Groupwork activities are underpinned by lecture blocks that present the theory that underpins observations made by the students in their market research, and that present the financial modelling methods used to plan for a small business activity. Formative feedback on group work is given during the block. The reading material that students must carry out in their own time to support the activities of the block is introduced in class. The block culminates in student group presentation of a business plan. A summative coursework essay is produced after the block, on a topic that focuses on theoretical aspects of the course, developing activities carried out during the block and using material derived from the student's individual reading at other times.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt1M30Group business plan,students receiving individual marks for contribution to gp presentation & written document,1000 wds per person
Essay1M70Individual essay on a topic designed to test the acquisition of learning outcomes based on knowledge. Approx 21 hrs work/2000 words.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The coursework within the taught block is based on group exercises. Each group (up to 6 students) will make a Powerpoint presentation and write an accompanying business plan. The assessment will include reflection by each individual of their contribution and the contribution of others in the group, which will enable the group mark to be moderated on an individual basis to take into account individual contributions. Group work develops awareness of the environment business sector and processes within it. It provides the opportunity to develop people management skills, and planning and reporting in both oral and written formats.

The coursework essay (70%), to be completed after the block module, tests the student's ability to integrate information gained during the week block with their reading, with the intention of preparing a considered and substantial response to a key business challenge that is typical of those from time to time faced by environmental consultancy businesses. The exercise requires the use of hard information about key performance indicators (such as turnover per head of staff and typical size of contract) together with soft information about qualitative aspects of management. For example, students may be set the topic of considering the steps that an environmental consultancy can take to survive a recession, and how these affect or are reflected by changes in KPIs. In addition to learning from reading, the assessment considers a student's ability to handle quantitative information.

Reading Lists